Topics: Cleaning, Polishing, Vintage Jewelry

Q.
I was recently asked to try and clean a vintage necklace that has beading with 1 inch wire mesh between the beads. The wire mesh has become very dark and has turned green in some areas. She told me it is brass, however the green indicates copper. I am reluctant to clean it because I do not want to ruin the beads or strip the natural patina. I thought of taking a tiny brush with polish to the mesh, but not sure what cleaner or method to use. Do you have some advice for me? She wants to sell this piece in her store.
- Maureen
A.
Attempting to clean this without knowing for sure what the materials are, risks damage to the vintage piece. Unless you are willing to take responsibility for and place a value on replacement of the piece, I would recommend not attempting to clean it. If you can positively identify the materials and have experience in cleaning antique and vintage jewelry, take care and test each process.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making ExpertResources

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